Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Falanghina, ancient white wine from Campania, Italy

Some of you may know that Mrs Astudentofwine is of Italian descent. Her father was the first to be born here in Canada, of Calabrese parents, and so she was raised  surrounded by Italian speaking aunts, uncles and grandparents. Very cool for me then to be learning about wines from just up the coast from where her family lived for generations.

     Campania is actually a Latin word, and literally means "the Countryside". There may in fact be somewhat of a stigma against winemaking (not without justification) from "the Countryside" but - just as with most regions of the world - here as well great strides in quality are being made. And what better place to start then this magnificent anicent grape Falanghina, native to Campania, and capable of rich aromatic white wines that pair as well with seafood as they do with a crisp pizza topped with buffalo mozzarella? Both pairings, by-the-way, are in fact regional. Did you know that the pizza (as we know it now) was first made in Napoli, capital city of Campania?

     Well anyways, Falanghina has 15 pseudonyms (which I will not bore you with) which makes it a horror for any student to try to learn about. It also has a plethora of rich possibilities in the bottle, which makes it an absolute pleasure to drink. Did I mention that it's also reasonably priced?

2009 Falanghina, by Terredora
Campania, Italy (Indicazione Geografica Tipica)
13% ABV, $20   **EXCELLENT VALUE **
2008: Decanter Awards 2009 – silver
         The International Wine Challenge 2009 - bronze
2007: Decanter Awards 2008 – bronze
         The International Wine Challenge 2008 – bronze
         Vinitaly 2008, Concorso Enologico Internazionale – commended
2006: Decanter World Wine Awards 2007 – bronze
         The International Wine Challenge 2007 – commended

  • visual:     clean; moderately intense golden lemon core paling to watery rim
  • nose:     clean; moderately intense young and vibrant aromas of minerality, wild grasses, mild exotic fruit such as pineapple, almondy lees
  • palate:    clean; 0 dryness, moderate+ Amalfi lemony acids, moderate- body, moderate+ ABV, moderate+ intense youthful and somewhat layered flavors comparable to the nose; Amalfi lemons, wild flowers, strong minerality throughout the palate, lemon finish with a hint of peppery arugula. Very good balance, good structure and moderate+ finish
  • conclusion:   A wonderfully crafted "table" wine that is drinking superbly now (through 2012)
  • PAIRINGS:   Seafood (as they do in Campania). Scallops in a buerre blanc are a natural, as would be butter poached lobster, fresh pan seared trout.... just about anything that is white from the ocean will love this. Herbs would be dill, tarragon, basil (but be sparing and try Thai basil). I personally would stay away from spice as it may throw the wine out of balance
     If anything, this small taste of Campania and the Amalfi Coast has made me more eager then before to take some time to visit Italy. Until then, I'll just have to try different varietals from the region, and from Terredora wines.

CIN CIN~!!!   SLAINTE~!!!   CHEERS~!!!

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